Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole

The two young gay men who made international headlines after marrying in a traditional African ceremony will be featured this Thursday on SABC 1.

Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithole became LGBT role models when they tied the knot – dressed in their traditional cultural attire – in front of 200 guests at the Stanger Siva Sungam community hall in KwaZulu-Natal in April.

Local reports on the ground-breaking wedding, including a video insert by eNews Channel Africa, expanded into world-wide coverage.

The new couple have become internationally recognised and have received requests for interviews from countries including the USA, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Even comedian Chelsea Handler, host of Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment Television, along with her panellists, Jeff Wild, openly gay Ross Matthews, and lesbian Fortune Feimster, discussed the wedding on the show.

The couple has also been shooting documentaries with AMSHeR (African Men for Sexual Health and Rights) as well as for the Franco-German TV channel ARTE, which will be broadcast on 26 May.

The European documentary is expected to be screened to the French parliament, which recently legalised same-sex marriage, to show how gay people live on other continents.

In preparation for International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May, the newlyweds did an interview with Radio France International which was broadcast all over the world to French speaking nations, including African countries.

Sahara TV, which is based in the US also recently interviewed the couple about the wedding.

On the local front, the SABC recently visited Tshepo and Thoba at their home to shoot a documentary about their lives in which their family was also interviewed.

“The media exposure is not really about us but this is all to about putting LGBTI matters on the agenda and to create a dialogue across the country and also on an international stage about homosexuality in general,” Tshepo told Mambaonline on Tuesday.

“We are just vessels or conduits to carry the message across and we believe that it will make a difference in educating society about the homosexual community,” he added.

The 30 minute SABC documentary is part of the Cutting Edge investigative journalism programme and will be broadcast on Thursday 23 May at 21:30 on SABC 1.

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